Analysis Of ' The Naked Citadel ' By Malcolm Gladwell

1784 Words Nov 11th, 2014 8 Pages
The Citadel symbolizes the enduring nature of traditional gender roles. It has fought long and hard to maintain an air of strictness, military refinement and manliness. However the traditional views enforced by the Citadel and its interaction within the context of the outside world has created what Susan Faludi, author of “The Naked Citadel”, refers to as an “atmosphere of cruelty”. Throughout her essay Faludi uses primary witnesses and factual evidence to expose the violent injustices done to “knobs”, freshman cadets, by their senior counterparts at The Citadel. In his essay, “The Power of Context”, Malcolm Gladwell, argues that violence results as a response to social context and thus can be completely avoided or treated. Based on Gladwell 's theory of The Power of Context, the senior cadets are not directly culpable for their violent behavior; their actions do not create the “atmosphere of cruelty” rather the atmosphere defines them. The “atmosphere of cruelty” itself, is defined by social cues derived from historical context which prompt the cadets to dominate. The walls surrounding, The Citadel also perpetuate violence by separating the cadets from normal social conventions and boundaries. However because the “atmosphere of cruelty”, is not a problem caused by some innate or psychological instability on the part of the cadets, it can easily be treated by adjusting little things in the environment such as eliminating the use of derogatory language and presenting the…
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